Washington, PA – Pouncing on a late miscue by the leader, Keystone Abbey avoided the breaker and poured through the lane to capture Saturday’s $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. It was the fourth straight victory for the daughter of Cantab Hall-Miss Aultsville, who previously swept three divisions in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series.
Keystone Abbey inherited the lead briefly for Aaron Merriman when Nomo Volo powered to the point from post nine only to jump it off. That was the signal for Dave Palone to quarter-pole to the top with Fade Into You, the 6-5 favorite off several fine performances in PA Sires Stakes. Fade Into You had little trouble thwarting the backside challengers but made an unforced break — Palone indicated he couldn’t pinpoint a reason for it — as they straightened out from the final turn.
Merriman, meanwhile, said the leader’s break did him no favor.
“I don’t know how much trot David had when he ran, but I had a lot of trot left,” Merriman said. “The break probably was the worst thing for my horse. I had to jerk her sideways, and she almost took herself up — she has a little attention issue. I was nervous about it, but she was well in hand before that.”
Keystone Abbey retained her composure and held off Giant Possession by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.3, a career best. Rush Lane finished third at a whopping 60-1. It was one of three victories for Merriman on the 13-race card.
Chris Beaver trains Keystone Abbey, a $15,000 yearling acquisition who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Donald Robinson, Martin Yoder and R.B.H. Ventures. Beaver previously indicated the filly would be pointed to the PA All-Stars at Pocono.
Elsewhere on the card, the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace billed as “The Battle of the Millionaires” Dancin Yankee and Dapper Dude, became a TKO early as Dancin Yankee seized control despite a parked-out 26.2 opening panel. He drew off to prevail by four lengths in 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Burke Racing Stable. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest now boasts career earnings of $1,930.587.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday (June 3), first post 1:05 p.m.